Friday, November 3, 2017

Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: First Thoughts...

Far from the frozen wastes of Felstad, the new setting for Frostgrave takes place in a mysterious archipelago of tropical islands that tend to pop out of existence for centuries at a time. Islands inhabited by all sorts of strange creatures, from dinosaurs to snake-men, with treasures both magical and mundane to tempt the bravest of treasure hunters.

Those familiar with Frostgrave will find a lot familiar in the rules. The core of the system remains pretty unchanged, with only a few changes to the system, but they're some interesting changes!

Most obviously, your main character is a Heritor, the descendant of a previous treasure hunter in the Ghost Archipelago who retains a bit of extra magic in his blood, and is looking for the source of that magic to boost it back up.

Joining him is a Warden, a magic-user of middling power. Hedge-witch to the mages that prowl Felstad. With fewer spells of lesser potency than their colder counterparts, they seem at first under powered, but I get the feeling that in play they'll hold their own.

Interestingly both the Heritors and the Wardens track their XP separately...

The rest of the crew is a similar mix of thugs, thieves, and various combat specialists. The recruiting mechanism is different here than in Frostgrave, as only half of your crew will be specialized, and the other half will just be sailors. And if you need to replace specialists, it's going to cost you an expensive trip back to the mainland!

The new rules for moving in water and small boats seem like they'll be fun, and I like that aquatic monsters get the equivalent of a 2" move onto land to show their reach from the water. It stinks that the Bones 4 minis are still more than a year away... I need so many of them now!!

As with Frostgrave, there is a sad lack of example battlefields shown, with only the briefest discussion of what the tabletop should look like. Thankfully the scenarios do give some clear descriptions of things that need to be included on the field, including various ruins, standing stones, and a tall tower/temple. I think I'm going to use the jungle islands of Indonesia as my inspiration.

One thing I miss in the rule book is the little snippets of quotes and stories that helped make Felstad seem like a more magical place that just the rules and scenarios suggested.

All in all, I'm looking forward to making my first Ghost Archipelago warband, and I think I'll be working on that just as soon as I finish up the Paranormal Investigators currently on my painting table!

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